Lily Oster PhD | Somatic Coaching

Healing Approach & Resources

Healing Chronic Pain & Persistent Symptoms

Healing from chronic pain and other chronic conditions begins with education on the science of pain and nervous system sensitization; a variety of debilitating physical symptoms cannot heal without first focusing our efforts on healing a brain stuck in fight-or-flight. This approach to recovery works with the body's internal healing systems and the magic of brain retraining rather than relying on external inputs (such as supplements, medications, injections, and surgeries) that many chronic pain sufferers find to be ineffective. This is also not a way of saying "it's all in your head." Your symptoms are 100% real and often hugely limiting and debilitating--nobody would make this up! Neuroscientists have learned, however, that the site of intervention in certain chronic pain and illness conditions is in the brain, which can be retrained out of patterns of fear and pain into patterns of safety and flourishing.

Conditions that can improve with this approach include migraines, chronic pain anywhere in the body, chronic fatigue, insomnia, digestive issues like IBS, skin conditions, fibromyalgia, pelvic pain, tinnitus, hypersensitivity, symptoms connected to anxiety and depression, and many others. Please see the Psychophysiologic Disorders Association website for a more complete list and for an assessment about whether your symptoms might be helped by this treatment method.

Lily's work aligns with that of mind-body medicine practitioners like Dr. Howard Schubiner, Dr. David Hanscom, Lorimer Moseley and the NOI Group, therapist Nicole Sachs, therapist Alan GordonDr. Kevin CuccaroDr. John Sarno, pain coach Dan Buglio, and many more scientists, doctors, and mental / physical health professionals who have helped countless people recover through a neuroscience-based and trauma-informed approach to healing physical symptoms. The language of this approach is still evolving as neuroscience and pain treatment research evolves: chronic pain is also often called persistent pain, neural pathway pain, or neuroplastic pain. Certain chronic illnesses or conditions may be referred to as psychophysiologic disorders, TMS or tension myositis syndrome, or MBS or mind-body syndrome. Methods of healing may be called pain recovery, pain reprocessing, pain reversal, neuroplastic healing, or neural or nerve retraining.

Here are some resources that further explain this approach to healing chronic conditions and provide some tools to begin your recovery.


Self-assessments and list of conditions that can be helped, Psychophysiologic Disorders Association (scroll down for symptoms and assessment)

How to Determine the Cause of Your Pain (7-minute video)

"The Pain Brain," New York Times series of articles

"Neural Pathways" and chronic pain, Pain Psychology Center (3-minute video)

"Reign of Pain," Dr. Howard Schubiner talk (20-minute video)

"Why Things Hurt," Lorimer Moseley TED Talk (15-minute video)

Psychophysiologic Disorders Association Resources

This Might Hurt Resources


This Might Hurt, documentary on the work of Dr. Schubiner

All the Rage, documentary on the work of Dr. Sarno


"Dolorology" episode on pain science from Ologies podcast with Alie Ward

Like Mind, Like Body podcast

Tell Me About Your Pain podcast

The Cure for Chronic Pain podcast with Nicole Sachs


Unlearn Your Pain, Dr. Howard Schubiner

The Mind-Body Prescription, Dr. John Sarno

The Way Out, Alan Gordon

The Body Keeps the Score, Dr. Bessel van der Kolk

When the Body Says No, Dr. Gabor Maté

There are many more resources out there! Please feel free to send feedback about what you find helpful as you make your way into this world of chronic pain and illness recovery.